This piece of folk art includes Thomas Corrigan’s representation of the American flag, representing the adopted country he loved, and maple trees which grew in the Hyde Park area where he lived and worked.
Jim Lafond-Lewis photographed the artifacts after their installation.
An official dedication of the garden will take place after the library is open to the public, and benches have been added. A brochure about the history of the artifacts will be available in the library and and on this website.
The front page of the Boston Globe had a very well written and touching story about Rebecca and Arthur Crumpler, and how the grave stone dedication came to be. Globe staff reporter Brian MacQuarrie, did phone interviews for background material and attended the event on Thursday, July 16, 2020 at Fairview Cemetery.
On Saturday morning, Patty who purchased the Globe in Shop & Shop, felt she wanted to find the grave site for the remarkable couple from the article. She mentioned that she had shown the article to a young Black woman in the checkout line who also said she would plan to read more and go to the cemetery.
The grave sites are on Aspen Avenue which is to the left of the flag pole near the Fairview Cemetery office. Drive/walk down to the 5th tree on the right and you will see the back of the grave stones slightly up an incline. (A-90, A-91)
Professional photographs by Jim laFond-Lewis will be posted in the near future.
Glorious day at Fairview Cemetery, thanks to many donations which made this event possible. Because of Covid precautions we did not have a large public gathering. Details and professional photos in another post. These photos were taken by Thien Simpson from Hyde Park Main Streets.
Overview of Rebecca Crumpler’s life – Victoria Gall
Historic significance and today’s relevance – Dr. Joan Reede, Dean for diversity and community partnership, Harvard Medical School
About Arthur Crumpler – Journalist, Attorney Anthony Neal
Blessing of grave stones and significance of the historic 12th Baptist church – Senior Pastor Reverend Arthur T. Gerald, Jr.
Special recognition for the the 54th Massachusetts Voluntary Infantry Regiment and the Boston Police Academy graduating class 59-19.
Details to follow.
Look for an article about the event in the Sunday Boston Globe on 7/19/2020, and be sure to watch NBC Nightly News (6:30 ET) as well. The local community newspaper, The Bulletin, will also run the story on 7/23.
When you go to Fairview Cemetery, drive in past the office and stay to the left of the flag pole. The grave sites are 5 trees ahead on the right.
Excellent history lesson that included a few sentences about the New England Female Medical College (NEFMC) where Dr. Crumpler graduated in 1864. The program mentioned: Dr. Rebecca Cole, who graduated in 1867 from the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania to be the 2nd black women to earn a medical degree, and also Elisa Grier, the 1st black female physician to work in Georgia (1897).
Why was Rebecca Lee Crumpler not discussed? Was it because no one has yet to find a photographer of her? Harvard University and Radcliff University provided source material for the program, so they had the opportunity to search the Countway Medical Library where there is a copy of a NEFMC annual report that lists Dr. Rebecca Lee as a student. That library also has a link to a copy of her 1883, ” A Book of Medical Discourses”.
Don’t let this omission stop you from watching the program which indeed is very informative.
The granite has arrived from Vermont and the text for the inscriptions on the graves stones for Rebecca and Arthur Crumpler has been finalized. The front side will have name and dates, and the back side will honor them with information about their lives.
The public dedication ceremony has been cancelled. When the stones are installed later next month, their location in Fairview Cemetery will be posted. A memorial card with quotations from Dr. Crumpler’s book will be available in the cemetery office when it is open.
Plans for a memorial plaque in another location are being discussed.
A correction to the previous post. A Crumpler Fund donor, Robert M., suggested that the reference to 72 Chestnut Street be checked because it likely was not the home of Dr. Rebecca Lee. From records Robert forwarded, it appears that Rebecca Lee at #72 was a wealthy, property-owning widow. Dr. Lee had no money, resulting in Wyatt Lee being buried in a grave for an indigent person.
Further investigation located a Rebecca Lee living at 73 Suffolk Street, now Shawmut Avenue in the South End. Dover Street is now East Berkeley. In fire insurance maps, red/pink buildings are brick, and yellow are wood framed.
It’s possible that Dr. Lee lived on Suffolk Street after medical school and before she went to Virginia to work for the Freedmen’s Bureau. She may have also lived there during her medical training. As you can see on the map, it would have been an easy walk to the medical school on Stoughton Street between Albany and Harrison Avenue in the South End.
A’Llyn Ettien, the Collections Management Librarian at Boston University, Alumni Medical Library wrote that the 1860 Annual Report stated that “Board can be had in the city for $4 to $6 a week, according to accommodations. Students, who desire it, will be assisted in obtaining suitable boarding-places.”
If any other information in these posts needs correction, please let us know. Of course, we also look forward to new bits of information about the lives or Rebecca and Arthur Crumpler.
Two ways to support the Crumpler project
Make out a check to Friends of the Hyde Park Branch Library indicating that it is for the Crumpler Fund. Address: Hyde Park Library, 35 Harvard Avenue, Hyde Park, MA, 02136 Paypal buttons below. Please supply your name, phone number and email address when prompted.
The Friends of the Hyde Park Library is a federally recognized 501(c)3 organization.